Himachal to set up framework for citizen centric e-Governance services



Shimla: The government of Himachal Pradesh has chalked out a blueprint for rolling out massive e-Governance programme across all its departments for further improving delivery of citizen services in the state. Funds will be allocated to the e-Governance projects accordingly in a planned manner.

The initiative is aimed at ensuring a systematic implementation of the various mission mode projects under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The NeGP, as envisaged by the government of India aims at improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of government service delivery through use of information and communication technologies.

Speaking at the two-day Workshop on National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) organised by the state IT department here, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said, “The application of IT can vastly extend access to education, health care and other aspects of the modern society, to many more people at a far lower cost.” The Chief Minister also released the e-Governance Roadmap (eGRM) that includes setting up of an institutional framework for rolling out e-Governance services in the state.

The state government will also be setting up a State Service Delivery Gateway that will enable its 3,366 community service centers to directly link the citizen with various government departments across the state. “This is yet another step towards achieving the state’s vision of use of IT for improving citizen services, increasing government accountability and stimulating democratic participation in Governance,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that while information technology has emerged as the revolutionary force that can bridge the gap between the haves and have nots, the eGRM will act as a guide to the government departments for application of e-Governance in their activities and delivery of services to the citizens.

Dhumal, however, pointed out that the state needs more financial support from the Central Government to take the e-Gov revolution till the village level. “Despite our limited resources, Himachal Pradesh has been moving ahead quite well on the e-Governance front. The state was one of the first to set up a State Wide Area Network, which will enable citizens to access information from the government,” he stated.

Giving details of various e-Governance initiatives undertaken by the state, the Chief Minister said that the state government was already working on the Rs 43.64 Crore State Data Centre (SDC) project with assistance from the Central government. “The State Data Centre will host departmental applications at a single place and the same will be accessed by user departments through the HIM-SWAN,” the Chief Minister informed. He also informed the state government has entered into an agreement with private partners to set up 3,366 Citizen Service Centers (CSCs) called Lokmitra that will help deliver various government services till the Panchayat level.

Further computerisation of various departments and organisations like Municipal Corporation and Municipal Committees will also help the state government roll out more citizen services online. “We have also taken up the task of computerisation of Revenue Courts till the Tehsil level. This will enable faster disposal of cases and immensely benefit the litigants,” the Chief Minister informed. He also announced that the state government would soon be setting up an SMS Gateway to roll out mobile-governance in the state.

Giving details of the eGRM, Himachal Pradesh IT Secretary BK Agarwal said that the eGRM is aimed at ensuring use of IT in governance in a planned manner through an integrated approach of service delivery by all departments. He further informed that the institutional framework would include an e-Governance Council chaired by the state Chief Minister, a State Apex Committee that would be headed by the state Chief Secretary and a State e-Governance Mission Team (SeMT) which would function as a full time advisory body for providing overall direction, standardisation and consistency through programme management of all e-Gov initiatives in the state.

Besides, it also recommends that the state government should set up Project e-Governance Mission Team (PeMT) in each of the various line function departments to own and manage the execution of all e-Governance initiatives across their respective departments. He further informed that the roadmap document had been prepared after several rounds of consultation with 23 key departments and 15 corporations and boards in the state. “A massive citizen survey was also carried out to capture people’s expectation of the nature and quality of services being provided to them through various IT initiatives of the state,” Agarwal informed.

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